Police have identified the two young girls found in the same Lauderhill canal as sisters and said the girls' mother is being investigated as a possible person of interest in their deaths.
Lauderhill Police Chief Constance Stanley held a news conference Wednesday, where the girls were identified as 7-year-old Daysha Hogan and 9-year-old Destiny Hogan.
Investigators have identified the girls' mother, 36-year-old Tinessa Hogan, as a possible person of interest in the case but said she hasn't been questioned and wasn't currently under arrest.
"She was contacted by police, she is not in the community right now and we're not at liberty to say where she is," Lauderhill Police Lt. Mike Bigwood said.
Officials said the medical examiner will determine the girls' cause of death but said there were no apparent signs of trauma.
The body of Destiny was discovered around noon on Tuesday in the canal in a residential neighborhood along Northwest 59th Way, officials said.
Then, around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, the body of her sister, Daysha, was found in the same canal, wearing a similar outfit, police said.
Police said the girls were never reported missing but had been last seen with their mother around 5 p.m. Monday. Bigwood said they don't know what time either girl went into the water.
"With any death like this that involves family members I think we're looking at all possible angles," Bigwood said. "At this point I would classify it as two suspicious deaths, we are definitely treating it as if it was a criminal investigation."
On Wednesday, officers were at a home possibly connected to the investigation.
Residents said the woman who lives there with her children had been acting erratically, swimming in the canal and asking to baptize kids in the neighborhood.
“It looked like she was having some emotional problems and couldn’t express it, she was just in her back during the day," said one neighbor who didn't want to be identified. "I said 'Are you ok?' She started swimming towards me and she went back into the house and disappeared."
Bigwood said they are aware of the reports of the woman in the canal and are investigating that it may have been the girls' mother.
Police are asking anyone who knows the family or children to contact them.
"We're hoping that the community reaches out and helps us put some context to how this may have happened," Bigwood said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.